OTIS TO MILLER, JANUARY 15, 1899
Manila, P. I., January 15, 1899.
MY DEAR GENERAL:
I am somewhat exercised, fearing that your correspondence with the Iloilo people may result in bringing about grave complications.
I sent you the President's proclamation, not for publication, but for your information, simply. It came just before Colonel Potter sailed for Iloilo and I did not have time to consider its probable effect. As soon as i could do so I cabled washington that it would not be published, as the time was not opportune. After some deliberation we put out one of our own which it was believed would suit the temper of the people.
I also fear that your conversations and letters to the Iloilo insurgent authorities on the intention of the United States government will also breed trouble.
I have concluded to send Major Mallory to you; he can represent my views and give you full information as to the policy which we have pursued here. He can give you a correct report of affairs in this section and show you how necessary it is to proceed with great caution.
The revolutionary government is very anxious for peaceful relations, and knows the value of United States protection, but, unfortunately, some of their radical representatives have raised a flood of excitement which they cannot control and which they confess their inability to direct. We have had several conferences and they plead with us to make some concession which they may publish to tneir people in order that they can get out of the dilemma in which they have placed themselves. They have little idea of constitutional government and their people have none. They cry for "Independenee" and "Protection," not knowing the true meining of the terms, and grow enraged over the words "Sovereignty," "United States Control," etc., etc. For several days we have been passing through, and are still in, a rather critical condition. Had you fired a gun at Iloilo the mob and insurgent troops were ready to make demonstration against the United States authorities. This would have been most disappointing to the President of the United States, who continually urges extreme caution and no conflict. Conditions are improving, the city in very quiet, the Malolos government slowly disintegrating I think, and the philippine people of the city and surrounding provinces having a better understanding of the United States' intentions.
Major Mallory will remain with you and i desire that you consult him upon all matters affecting our relationship with the insurgent authorities. The policy to be pursued by the united states is to keep as quiet as possible, permitting the insurgent authorities to work out their own protection if possible. Please do not attempt any radical action without consulting us here.
(Signed) E. S. OTIS.
Brigadier General M. P. Miller,
Commanding 1st Separate Brigade Eight Army Corps,
Iloilo, Island of Panay